No Christmas at Quinte (for AL)

God’s ladder to heaven reaches only
to the roof of the
festive above the fireplace as
fighters roast marshmallows
and the drunks complain about
warm beer.
i see the pictures posted in the
aftermath still occurring online,
forever caught on digital and
wait to see the newspaper
for burnt timber and black
ash in fresh snow falling.
seeing the date, i admit quietly
to no one
the mayans were correct after all
a part of the world ended last night
but only a part,
for the world cannot
come to a stand still unless America
feels it first, and this is only
at Roblin lake, your casket is by the
shoreline, and while
seeing this famous poem go
up in flames smelling like
stale beer is a sad moment
for literature,
i believe the real excitement is
yet to come
for as i say,
i have been to your graveside
so close to the shore
and i know
as the earth recedes and another
calendar closes in on
this area will see your remains
rushing down the river
on one final ride
and the lid will be open
and you will be laughing
sitting up and telling the
driver to take you for
one last drink
but upon reaching your
old stomping grounds
you will realize, you
have been asleep too
the world ended when you
were planted
and changed while you dreamed
of here and forgot
the world, still spinning.
Worst yet, you will realize
in your sleep you were
wrong, that Milton, Layton
and others, were waiting,
wanting you to sit down
for a drink while
playing cards
saying to you
‘stay, don’t go’
not because they wanted the
game to keep playing
but because they didn’t want you
to see Margaret was still
going strong, or that Cohen
was singing to old
-Now on Pinnacle the fire chief is
lowering the ladder,
and the morning drunks are
crying in their coffees,
and somehow you
are stirring by your river bed
and in the darkness
your sleeping instincts tell
something has gone
terribly wrong
-you, with frozen yellow flowers above
your head, and a voice whispering to
the hibernating worms, ‘ let him sleep
and find out later,
for he is a
sensitive man.


About Crazy Irishman

Touted as a working man's poet, Martin Durkin has been writing professionally for the last 12 years. He has appeared in over twenty anthologies across North America, including, "And left a place to stand on", a collection of poems and essays about the late great Al Purdy. Durkin has also published two collections of poetry, "Hypnotic Childhood", and "The Sound of Quish". Over the past 4 years, Durkin has been on hiatus for the most part but has recently come back to the poetry scene creating a poetry site called, where in the past year he has written over 100 poems and created a cross over page on where he gives a story behind each of the pieces written. View all posts by Crazy Irishman

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